Look, it’s not that I’m a pessimist. I am, in fact, an inveterate optimist. But I’m also a historian (somewhat). I really hope I’m wrong about what the next several years hold, based on the complete garbage fire that has been 2016. I do. But I’m not holding my breath for it. Unfortunately, one of the problems is the complete powerlessness of the average person to stem the tide of insanity coming, or even to adequately protect herself and her loved ones. Especially someone like me, who is, at heart, a bit of a coward. I’m anti-confrontation (even online confrontations, from the safety of a screen, leave me shaking and nervous for days). I’m no good at speaking up against bigotry and bias around me in person, and not much good about it online either. I’m not the sort to attend protests, and I can’t really claim I’ll be much good come the revolution. I know this about myself, and I’m attempting to come to terms with it.
But silence is complicity. Silence is what allows this poison to grow and fester and become the steaming pile we have now. The racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, transphobia, and every other ism imaginable floating around this country right now continue to float because good people say nothing, do nothing, and pretend not to see there even is a problem. I also haven’t been much good at doing anything besides wring my hands about it either. I try to change that, but thus far I’ve been trying to work against my own talents and personality, rather than with it.
This isn’t really a “New Year’s Resolution” post. More like a statement of rebellion. I’m not going to sit around and do nothing anymore. But I also need to play to my strengths. I’m a writer. I write. And in the coming storm, fiction is going to be unbelievably important. So I’m going to write, but more importantly I’m going to post things for people to read. I’m not waiting for publishing anymore, for my short stories. This is too important to wait for some mythic “good enough” in the future. The world needs stories of comfort, and hope, and subtle radicality. I can provide some of that. Even if it’s only to a few people. Even if it’s not always the best that it could be. Even if sometimes I don’t want to, and lose hope myself.
In the immortal words of the ever-wise Sir Terry, “Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.” Stories show us how the world is and how the world could be. I want to put more stories into the world that reflect the sort of place I want to live in. More stories with diversity of all types, more stories with acceptance and love and joy and hope in them. More stories where the world is a kinder, more just place, where the heroes defeat the evil, and the world is saved. “You need to believe in things that aren’t true. How else can they become?” (Terry Pratchett again.)
So. That’s what I’m going to do this year. I’ll be posting semi-regular stories here and on my Wattpad. And in light of that, here is a link to the first one, The Witch’s Crow on Wattpad. It will also be posted on this blog immediately after this post. Please enjoy, and Happy New Year. May it be less horrific than we fear.